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Monday, December 12, 2011
Memphis PA calls Pastner 'John Calipari'

By Eamonn Brennan

We've all had those days.

You go outside to warm your car up in the morning, only you lock your keys in the car while it's running. You're five minutes late for a vacant train, and the next train that arrives is packed full with no room to board. You get to the office and realize you have a 10 a.m. meeting, one which you blissfully forgot all weekend, and now you have to pretend that you didn't.

On Sunday, Memphis coach Josh Pastner had one of those days. The worst part was surely the 76-72 loss to streaking mid-major Murray State in the home confines of the FedEx Forum, a loss that had forward Will Barton -- and Memphis Commercial-Appeal columnist Geoff Calkins -- asking "Why don't the Tigers play with a greater sense of purpose and direction? Why is this happening for a second straight year?" It's only Dec. 12. Those questions are starting already. That is not good.

Then again, you can't blame Pastner too much. After all, he received what must have been the worst omen -- or hex or curse or whatever superstition you prefer -- in the pregame roster announcements. That's when Memphis public address announcer Chuck Roberts loudly and enthusiastically introduced "the head coach of the Memphis Tigers ... John Calipari!" And yes, there's video:



Naturally, as you can hear in the video, Roberts' flub caused a cascade of boos from the Memphis faithful. CBS's Gary Parrish was on hand and tweeted that Roberts "was confused by the boos" until someone told him exactly what he said, at which point he had to be absolutely mortified. (Another nice tweet from Gary: "The Memphis PA guy (Chuck Roberts) is the nicest man you'd ever meet. I hope fans lighten up on him. It was a mistake. But a harmless one.")

Really, who in Memphis didn't have one of those days yesterday? Pastner, Roberts, the Tigers players, their fans -- Sunday was not a banner day on Beale Street, that's for sure.